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Split pea soup for the soul

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Two days ago at the break of day I saw that all of the branches of all of the trees were covered in white, snowy ice. As soon as the sun was up high enough to hit the trees our world exploded tiny little sparkly bits of magic. This happens once or twice each winter, or it has for the five winters I have been here. The trees along the river bank become especially sparkly with ice twinkles, amplified by the sun light bouncing off the white snow along the frozen river that lights the branches up from beneath. It is the most magical sight I have seen with my own eyes, and the most frustrating sight to try to capture and relate via digital photograph. This morning we have heavy snow coming down in a hard wind. I am delaying going outside with my son's Bull Dog, The Duke for his morning's romp by the willow. Today's blog will be brief, but I wanted to give my readers a heads up that this coming Tuesday I will share my personal Split Pea Soup including the story behind it. Something interesting to contemplate in the meantime, my son (designer and Etsy seller FlyingJunction featuring vintage subway signs and bus scrolls) and I are collaborating on an exclusive line of beautiful and interesting art prints designed specifically for knitters and fiber lovers. Our first two releases: Knitter's Eye Charts (right) and Stash Pride (see below) There are three styles and they can be purchased individually or as a specially priced collection of three; 11" x 17" professionally printed and easily framed using readily available standard sized store-bought frames. Hang one in your craft room, family room, office, or studio. We designed them to be aesthetic as well as slightly humorous to those who understand the secret language of knitting patterns. The Knitter's Eye Chart makes an attractive and unique gift for anyone in your life who loves knitting or fiber. Our second release celebrates the unique talent of fiber artists in building up a gargantuan stash of fiber of all sorts.  I call it the Stash Pride sign ... this art print says it all:  "If You Can Read This You are Standing Too Close to My Stash". Your family already knows you have a special relationship with your stash, so post this art print close to your bounteous treasure to remind them not only of your addiction but also to keep their distance (lovingly). Available in five different color schemes, and two sizes (8" x 10" and 11" x 17") this print makes a great gift for any fiber artist you know or a little something for yourself.  The Knitter's Eye Chart and the Stash Pride prints are both on my website or in my Etsy store. If you are interested in making Split Pea Soup with me next week, here is a shopping list:
  • 1 bag dry split peas
  • 2 32-oz cartons of chicken or vegetable stock (I use either my own homemade vegetable stock or Swanson's
  • msg-free chicken stock)
  • celery, preferably very leafy on the top
  • carrots
Herbs and spices to have on hand:
  • Powdered thyme
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • cumin
Optional ingredients to pick up:
  • 8 to 12-oz pkg sliced mushrooms
  • thick sliced bacon
Also, I love serving this soup with fresh baked focaccia bread. I usually mix up a batch of pizza dough in my bread maker and then form it into a focaccia. If you don't have a bread machine or know how to make yeast bread, you can buy a packaged mix for focaccia at the grocery store, or a pre-made unbaked pizza dough to use for your fresh focaccia. So, get ready and let's all have Split Pea Soup next Tuesday evening ... yum! Well, The Duke is calling my name and saying he is ready to go outside and meet up with today's harsh weather. So, off I go ... Hope you have a wonderful day, and a beautiful weekend. Warmest wishes, ~firefly


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